Category: Nonfiction

  • Glitter and Concrete

    (by Elyssa Maxx Goodman) This book, which looks at the history of drag in New York City from the 1860s to 2023, was an interesting introduction to a subject I didn’t know a lot about. I’ve seen performances that incorporate drag and drag aesthetics (Justin Vivian Bond as Kiki in the cabaret duo Kiki and…

  • More

    (by Molly Roden Winter) This isn’t a memoir to read for lyrical prose (not that the writing is bad), but rather, a memoir to read for glimpses into someone else’s life, particularly glimpses of raw and vulnerable moments where someone is trying to figure shit out, and may or may not be succeeding. I don’t…

  • If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal

    (by Justin Gregg) In this book, whose subtitle is “What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity,” Justin Gregg uses a Nietzsche quotation about cattle as a jumping-off point to explore the differences between animal intelligence/cognition and human intelligence/cognition, and the question of whether we can say that human intelligence is better. (Spoiler alert: Gregg thinks…

  • Crossings

    (by Ben Goldfarb) Another month, another really interesting read thanks to nonfiction book club. I didn’t know anything about road ecology before reading this, but Goldfarb does a great job of introducing the topic and walking readers through the effects of roads on different kinds of animals in different places, chapter by chapter. There are…

  • What Fresh Hell Is This?

    (by Heather Corinna) I am not really a fan of surprises. So when I realized that I felt like I was missing some basic info about what to expect in the coming years in terms of perimenopause and menopause, I figured I should probably try to learn some things. Hence this book, whose subtitle is…

  • Kitchen Confidential

    (by Anthony Bourdain) I’m grateful to nonfiction book club for choosing this as our February read: although I definitely like food (by which I mean: I like cooking and baking; I like going out to eat; I like trying new-to-me restaurants and new-to-me dishes), I haven’t read many food-related memoirs, and this one was definitely…

  • The Rediscovery of America

    (by Ned Blackhawk) This book (whose subtitle is “Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History”) covers a lot of ground chronologically and geographically, and sometimes jumps around a bit rather than proceeding solely by chronology. It’s written in an academic but readable style (by which I mean: this is not a pop history kind…

  • Loving Venice

    (by Petr Král, translated by Christopher Moncrieff) At the office holiday party in December, I found myself talking to a colleague about how much we both like Venice; later in the month, he stopped by my desk to lend me his copy of this book, which I read over the course of two days in…

  • All the Wrong Places by Philip Connors

    All the Wrong Places is Philip Connors’s memoir of his early twenties in NYC and his struggles to understand/come to terms with his younger brother having taken his own life. Though he says he and his brother “weren’t close” as young adults, they were “an insesparable pair” in early childhood on their family’s farm in…

  • Just Kids by Patti Smith

    This is one of those books I’d been meaning to read for ages: I heard about it when it first came out, and then I was reminded of it again in 2015 when I read what Nick Hornby had to say about it in More Baths, Less Talking. Then I found a copy of it…